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The Phantom Of The Opera (2004)



In 1919, a public auction was held to clear a dilapidated Paris opera house's vaults. The elderly Viscount Raoul de Chagny bids against Madame Giry, the retired ballet instructor of the theatre, for a papier-mâché music box shaped like a barrel organ with the figure of a cymbal-playing monkey, attached to it. The auctioneer presents a repaired chandelier, relating it to "the strange affair of the Phantom of the Opera". As it is hoisted up to the roof, the story moves back to 1870.




The Phantom of the Opera (2004)



The theatre prepares for the performance of the grand opera Hannibal, headed by a soprano, Carlotta Giudicelli. One of the dancers, Christine Daaé, recognizes Raoul as a childhood sweetheart and wonders if he will also acknowledge her, but he leaves without seeing her. Theatre manager Monsieur Lefèvre plans to retire, leaving the theatre under the ownership of Richard Firmin and Gilles André, who introduce their patron, the young Raoul.


Three months later, in 1871, Christine and Raoul announced their engagement at a New Year masquerade ball. The Phantom crashes the ball and orders his opera, Don Juan Triumphant, to be performed. Upon seeing Christine's engagement ring, the Phantom steals it and flees, pursued by Raoul, but Giry stops him. Giry explains that when she was younger, she met the Phantom, a deformed young boy, billed in a freak show and abused by the owner. When the Phantom rebelled and strangled the owner to death, Giry helped him evade the resulting mob and hid him within the opera house. The next day, Christine visits her father's tomb with the Phantom posing as his spirit to win her back, but Raoul intervenes. The Phantom and Raoul duel with each other before Raoul eventually knocks the Phantom down and flees with Christine.


Raoul and the managers plan to capture the Phantom during his opera. The Phantom murders the lead tenor, Ubaldo Piangi, and takes his place to sing with Christine. Christine unmasks the Phantom during their passionate duet, revealing his deformity to the horrified audience. The Phantom then abducts Christine and retreats as he causes the chandelier to crash and sets the opera house on fire to cover his tracks, but a mob forms to hunt him down with the police. Giry leads Raoul to the Phantom's lair to rescue Christine, while Meg also leads the pack.


Principal photography lasted from 15 September 2003 to 15 January 2004. The film was shot entirely using eight sound stages at Pinewood Studios,[22] where, on the Pinewood backlot, the bottom half exterior of the opera was constructed. The top half was implemented using a combination of computer-generated imagery (CGI) and a scale model created by Cinesite. The surrounding Paris skyline for "All I Ask of You" was entirely composed of matte paintings.[5] Cinesite also created a miniature falling chandelier, since a life-size model was too big for the actual set.[23]


Production designer Anthony D. G. Pratt was influenced by French architect Charles Garnier, designer of the original Paris opera house, as well as Edgar Degas, John Singer Sargent, Gustave Caillebotte, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Schumacher was inspired by Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (1946), where a hallway is lined with arms holding candelabra. The cemetery was based on the Père Lachaise and Montparnasse.[24] Costume designer Alexandra Byrne utilized a limited black, white, gold and silver color palette for the Masquerade ball in spite of the lyrics being sung indicating that it is a multicolored affair in which mauve, puce, green, and black amongst others are on display.[5]


All of the principal actors sang in the film except for Minnie Driver. Most of the actors have a background in musicals or opera, but Driver (a skilled singer) had no experience in opera and was dubbed by Margaret Preece, a singing teacher from Solihull, UK. However, Driver did contribute the film's end title song, "Learn To Be Lonely," written specifically for the film by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.


At the beginning of the movie, the cast is rehearsing for an opera called "Hannibal" and they are singing "Hannibal Comes!" This is not an actual opera; Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote this for the beginning and wanted to help the actors warm up to the part with a laugh, hence the silly make up and costumes.


Charlotte Church and Kate Winslet were considered for the role of Christine Daae. It was offered to Anne Hathaway but she had to decline because the production schedule of the film overlapped with The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004).


At one point, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway were considered for the roles of the Phantom and Christine respectively. Due to prior commitments, neither could participate (the former in Van Helsing (2004) and the latter in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)). However, they would both go on to be cast in lead roles in another musical adaptation, Les Misérables (2012).


In the "Masquerade" scene, there is a pan up the stairs. When it reaches the top of the stairs, opera patrons dressed in cat masks strike the pose that the cats on the show "Cats" pose in any promotional material. "Cats" is also a Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber show.


At the "Don Juan" opera play, background people are dancing "sevillanas", a typical Spanish dance from Seville, the city where the events of "Don Juan Tenorio" (play written in 1844 by José Zorrilla) take place.


The order of the songs varies from the Broadway version. Most notably, sections that are sung on Broadway are spoken, such as Christine and Raoul's conversation during Masquerade and Christine's monologue right before she performs in Don Juan. Additionally, the song Notes/Twisted Every Way is broken into pieces. Notes is played at the end of Why So Silent, Christine's mini 'Phantom' reprise is played as she rides to the cemetery, and the end of Notes (We Have All Been Blind) and Twisted Every Way are as they prepare to perform the Phantom's opera.


In the novel instead of threatening to strangle Raoul if she doesn't marry him, Erik has Christine turn the grasshopper or the scorpion. The grasshopper if her answer is no, will blow up the opera house. If her answer is yes, it will drown the gunpowder and she will become his wife. In the novel she turns the scorpion and marries him.


Deformed since birth, a bitter man known only as the Phantom lives in the sewers underneath the Paris Opera House. He falls in love with the obscure chorus singer Christine, and privately tutors her while terrorizing the rest of the opera house and demanding Christine be given lead roles. Things get worse when Christine meets back up with her childhood acquaintance Raoul and the two fall in love


The chandelier is one of the most iconic elements of the The Phantom of the Opera musical. It is the rising of the chandelier that starts the musical and it is through its crashing later on that we learn of the disaster at the opera house. Basically, the chandelier could be considered to be a character all of its own.


In this musical based on Gaston Leroux's story, a brilliant masked madman (Gerard Butler) who lives under the opera house falls in love with the exquisite young soprano Christine, (Emmy Rossum). She believes he is the angel of music, sent to teach her by her dead father. But he's no angel and will do anything to make Christine a star and possess her. At first, Christine is mesmerized by the Phantom. He brings her his cavernous home deep below the stage and sings to her, inspiring her to sing with passion. And just as the theater owner sells the place to two scrap metal dealers, the phantom arranges to have Christine get the starring role in the opera's newest production. The new team has a new patron -- a handsome young nobleman named Raoul (Patrick Wilson) who was once Christine's childhood sweetheart. He and Christine fall in love but the Phantom will not allow Christine to be with anyone else, even if it means destroying everything he cares about.


Her public success and meeting with the Vicomte motivate her mysterious tutor to finally reveal himself to her as the Phantom of the Opera. He is not the ghost that the company thinks he is, but a highly disfigured man (both physically and emotionally) who lives beneath the opera house. But in spite of his kindness to Christine, the Phantom is a man to be feared. He will stop at nothing both to dictate the management of the opera house itself and to possess the lovely and innocent Christine.


These two goals put him on a direct collision course with Raoul and the managers of the opera. Christine herself remains conflicted. She loves Raoul, yet feels grateful to the Phantom. Plus, her ability to view him with compassion, as few people ever have, gives her empathy for a man whose physical violence continues to escalate. Who will win the battle for control of the opera house? Even more importantly, who will win the battle for Christine?


One strength that the film has over the stage production is that it has both a broader and narrower scope to tell this famous story. The benefit of the camera allows for a more detailed backdrop. For example, we are able to see the detailed behind the scenes workings of an opera house. This is not as easily produced for the stage. So we get a much better sense of place for the setting. But then the camera is also able to provide close-ups of certain scenes and faces. This creates a certain intimacy that is just not available in a theater production.


The production aspects of The Phantom of the Opera are stellar. The screen is filled with lush color, intricate settings, and stunning visual shots. It is a feast for the eyes almost too rich to consume. Furthermore, the song and dance numbers are beautifully choreographed. The costumes are creative and well suited to each character. Christine is normally clothed in virginal white which creates an obvious contrast with Carlotta, the opera diva who is draped in garish, vibrant colors.


Back to this time, while the company rehearses for a performance of the grand opera Hannibal, manager Monsieur Lefèvre announces that he has decided to retire and that the opera has been purchased by Richard Firmin and Gilles André, two men who have no experience with the arts whatsoever. When resident soprano Carlotta Giudicelli begins to sing for the managers, a backdrop collapses and causes everyone to blame the "Opera Ghost", a mysterious figure who is rumored to live in the catacombs beneath the theater. Carlotta refuses to sing and storms offstage, leaving Firmin and André no choice but to cancel the performance. At the last minute, ballet mistress Madame Giry suggests that dancer Christine Daaé take Carlotta's place as she has been "well taught." The managers reluctantly agree and, to their surprise, Christine wins them over. 041b061a72


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